Topic: Politics

National challenges new Broadcast Minister to be inclusive of Māori

By Talisa Kupenga

Understanding the state of Māori Broadcasting is a key priority for new Broadcasting and Communications Minister Kris Faafoi.

National's Māori Development spokesman Nuk Korako says former Minister Clare Curran failed to include Māori on her public media advisory panel and that Faafoi should step up and put this right.  

Faafoi wants a thriving media sector- so what is expected for Māori?

"It's pretty early days so getting my head around where the dynamics of where the Māori media are at is one of my priorities working alongside the likes of Nanaia Mahuta," he says.

Former Broadcast Minister Clare Curran failed to appoint a Māori representative to the public media advisory board despite saying she was open to adding a representative.

She then backtracked, saying no new appointments would be made before the public media commission was established.

When asked if she thought she had failed Māori by not appointing a representative she told Te Kāea, "No because I gave an assurance that was on the agenda to do."

Korako says, "The new minister needs to actually stand up now and be very clear on the procedure or the process moving forward."

But when asked, Faafoi was not aware of the issue, having just come into the role.

Faafoi says, “Thank you for letting me know that.  Look I had a round of briefings- there is a whole lot to get my head around."

Korako says, "Well it shows you how out of touch [he] is, they all are actually because this has been going on for quite some time.”

In May, Māori Broadcast Minister Nanaia Mahuta affirmed a position was available but then backtracked in June.

She told Te Kāea "It's my view that once we understand the Māori broadcasting strategy is in fact a strategy for the Māori media sector then we're better positioned to have a conversation about what are our aspirations in the public broadcasting space."

Associate Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson says he has talked with Faafoi and is optimistic about the opportunity.